Walking Me Out of House and Home

Forget eating us out of house and home – I think Cordelia will be walking and running us out of house and home. I’ve ranted on this before, but after shoe shopping again today, I can’t help but want to scream about the money we have to spend on shoes.

Her current pair of sneakers have been showing the usual signs of being too small for a week or two now. Which meant it was time for me to determine if her feet had yet changed into normal feet that could wear your average, everyday shoe.

See, Cordy’s feet have always been a little different. She has wide feet, which I’m told is common for a baby or toddler, but she also has tall feet. The middle of her foot, between her toes and her ankle, has always had more height to it. A little extra fat pad, I guess.

Because of this, stopping by Target for a pair of shoes just won’t work. Oh no, no matter how cute those little Mary Janes are, I can guarantee Cordy’s foot won’t get halfway into the shoe. A $10 pair of no-name canvas shoes would be wonderful, but Cordy’s feet will not comply.

I tried Land’s End this time, hoping that their shoes, which run a little wide in adult sizes, would also work the same way for their children’s shoes. Their all-weather mocs are my #1 favorite shoe, so I ordered a pair for Cordy. As a bonus, they come in a lot of cool colors, like deep blue, purple, and red.

I had a lot of hope for these shoes, but like others that came before them, they failed the test. Her tall feet wouldn’t go more than halfway in, no matter how much pushing, tugging, and twisting I tried (gently, of course). Damn.

Having tried just about every shoe, I was forced to go back to my only choice: Stride Rite.

I’d like to say I’m grateful to Stride Rite for being the one shoe store that carries shoes to fit my toddler’s abnormal feet, but I’m not grateful. They’re expensive shoes, for one. I don’t spend $50 on shoes for myself – I don’t even spend $30 on shoes for myself, and the shoes I do buy for $27 (Land’s End) I wear for several years, going from good shoes, to play shoes, to shoes to wear in the mud, until they finally give up and collapse into a heap of dust. If I’m lucky, the shoes cost me $1 a month or less for the use I get from them.

Yet for my precious little girl, I have to spend $50 on special shoes to fit her feet that will last her for maybe 3 months, possibly 5. That’s, at best, $10 a month for the use she gets from them.

Next, while they do carry extra wide widths, not all of their shoes are available in this width. Which leaves a limited selection, and for girls, seems to always be limited to the colors of white and light pink. Ugh. What is so wrong with making shoes for little girls in some color other than pink? Purple is a perfectly valid color, as is green or even red.

Today, Cordy measured in at a 7.5 extra wide. So we had these selections to pick from:

The last ones didn’t interest me due to the cute hearts. And the second ones, while being wide, were unable to handle the height of Cordy’s feet, making it look more like a sausage casing than a shoe. So choice #1 it was – not much of a choice, though.

With the new shoes on her feet, and Cordy doing laps around the tables filled with shoes she can’t wear, I paid the $48.70 and we left the store, determined to not return for at least 3 months.

I sometimes think the only reason I work my job is to pay for Cordy’s clothing and shoes. I will probably be relieved if baby #2 is a girl, so she can wear all of Cordy’s old clothing. And hopefully the second one won’t have weird feet.

You want to know why I have blog ads on the site now? It’s to help me afford to keep this kid in shoes.

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  1. My son has the wide foot/flat foot thing going for him. Go to the Stride Rite at the Jeffersonville Outlets. I get the wide size for literally half the price I pay here in Columbus! I bought CJ a pair of really nice sneakers earlier this year that retailed for $52 that I paid $27 for in Jeffersonville. In fact, we’re taking a trek 2 weekends from now to get him some winter shoes. Because, like you, we can’t just walk into a Target and grab a pair of $20 fashion statements.

    I blame it all on my husband’s flat feet :)

  2. Just train her to go barefoot. Soon she will develop tough calluses like little hooves. Tell schools, restaurants, stores etc that she is allergic.

    Then spend the extra money on a vacation.

  3. Both of my kids have feet like that. TQ’s feet have actually become narrow in the past few years but she still has a very high instep (as do I) and a lot of shoes pinch and squash the tops of her feet. I always have to buy her sandals that have adjustable velcro on the top band.

    P’s feet are wide and chubby with a high instep and even Stride Rite didn’t have anything that fit him properly. I ended up at the New Balance store where they had ONE pair that fit him. And then I had to take those tiny $35 sneakers and have stronger velcro put on them when I realized they didn’t stay fastened for more than 5 steps.

    I feel ya, sister :)

  4. You know, it occurs to me that we would be better off if, should child the second be a girl, that she does have weird feet. If she has normal feet, we’re right back to needing to buy a whole bunch of new shoes.

  5. Blog Junkie already said it – Stride Rite outlets! Weve gotten shoes for Q at half price. Hope that there is one close to you.

  6. There’s a brand called See Kai Run (available on Amazon online and probably elsewhere as well) that might work too. They are cheaper than Stride Rite, but don’t provide as much structure, which might work well for hard-to-fit feet.

  7. Chin up dearie, it can always be worse…

    My darling little son’s feet were not only abnormally wide, short and tall, (does that make sense?) but due to the clubbing that refused to be corrected, the fore foot had a wicked curve.

    Stride Rights wouldn’t even fit. Bugger.

    So for four years he wore SLIPPERS. Imagine the looks I got in the winter….

    (To be fair, he didn’t learn to walk until well past four…)

    When we were finally approved to start looking for a shoe, we searched everywhere and no one was able to help us. So we had to get CUSTOM built shoes.

    And the price tag on those babies: $2400 bucks. Thanks to medical insurance we only had to pay $500.

    And he loved those shoes. For the four months he had them, he scuffed and scraped the crap out of them.

    And then we he passed, my husband wanted to bury him with those shoes.

    After all we went through to get the damn things. I told him he was crazy. Skjel was buried with those annoying slippers.

    No way was I gonna lose shoes only wore for four months for $500 smackers!

    My point, in a roundabout way, is it can always be worse!

  8. Gah! I am super glad that my kiddos do not have wierd feet. It must suck to have to be so restricted in choice of footware.

  9. I scoured several different Winners for Cakes winter boots this year. I think children’s footwear is going to be a big ticket item for us too!

  10. Have you tried going to Childrens resale stores to check them out? I love Once Upon A Child. Not only for clothes but for shoes and everything else you may need along the way…They may not have your sizes needed, but the stock always changes, and for the prices it is well worth the time. My daughter is three this year, and we have done most of her shopping there this year, as baby number 2 is due ON Christmas…and it is hard on the budget when you go through things so fast. Try it…you may not find shoes right away, but its a great place.

  11. Anonymous says:

    My baby has “tall” block feet, too. I bought those same shoes for her yesterday. We got the hearts last time, as they were the ONLY choice that day. She measured 7.5 extra wide, but I went ahead and got the 8 instead. No dress shoes. They only carry those in extra wide for BOYS. Great.

  12. Hello all,

    Yes, I too have a toddler with tall feet and I struggle to explain this problem to people!

    We solved this problem with CROCS, at least for summer. They were well worth the $30 just to have some shoes that fit (I normally wouldn’t pay $20 for a pair of kids shoes)

    Now we need some warmer winter shoes and the hunt is on!

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